The Indian government's push for NavIC integration in smartphones received a notable boost with the launch of the Apple iPhone 15 Pro.
This marks the beginning of a new era in indigenous navigation technology.
NavIC, short for Navigation with Indian Constellation, is India's homegrown GPS system developed by the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO).
Through over half a dozen satellites, NavIC extends coverage to the entirety of India's landmass.
Its applications span a wide range of sectors, including transportation (terrestrial, aerial, and marine), location-based services, personal mobility, resource monitoring, surveying and geodesy, scientific research, time dissemination, and synchronization, as well as safety-of-life alert dissemination, according to ISRO.
NavIC boasts a constellation of 7 satellites and ground stations and aims to compete with global counterparts such as the U.S.'s GPS, EU's Galileo, Russia's GLONASS, and China's BeiDou.
This technology offers Standard Position Service (SPS) for civilian users and Restricted Service (RS) for strategic applications, with a coverage area extending beyond India's borders.
The advantages of NavIC include reduced reliance on foreign navigation systems during emergencies or critical situations. Its accuracy and suitability for India's diverse geography make it a valuable asset for the nation's development.
To adopt NavIC, smartphone manufacturers need to make minor hardware adjustments, including the use of NavIC-supported processors.
However, this may impact the cost of smartphones, potentially affecting prices for consumers.
As the iPhone 15 Pro pioneers NavIC integration, the government aims to encourage other smartphone players to follow suit by 2025. This shift holds the promise of a more self-reliant and technologically advanced India.